A panel discussion to share experiences on energy development was held in Addis Ababa last Sunday (October 23). Those attending included officials from the Korean International Cooperation Agency and from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity as well as other government officials and private interests.
The Minister for Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Motuma Mekasa, emphasized to participants that Ethiopia which subscribed to a green development framework to achieve broad-based sustainable development, had continued its search for sustainable energy generation. The Minister noted that the massive development of power projects in the country offered a demonstration of Ethiopia’s strategic orientation and concrete application of its green development vision. He noted that the government placed stress on international technical cooperative partnerships in this regard. It was important to share knowledge and expertise as a propeller to engage the untapped renewable energy potential of the country. He said the Republic of Korea’s successful experiences in the field of energy development would, in this context, serve as “an important lesson for Ethiopia to tap more into its vast energy resource.”
Minister Motuma underlined that the energy sector’s role as the central element, a necessary bloodline, for the development of any economy had prompted increased government action to develop energy from renewable sources. These included geothermal, wind, and solar power as well as its hydropower development. Ethiopia was, he said, pushing forward on green energy development, embarking on huge power projects to fill the gaps in power supplies across the country. Aware of the importance of investment on green energy generation, the Minister said the government was supporting and encouraging investors in the solar and geothermal sectors to ensure nationwide access to electricity. Ethiopia’s development model, the Minister added, had undertaken several initiatives to enhance renewable power supplies specifically in order to benefit rural localities, mainstreaming real improvement for the lives of the poor.
Doh Young Ah, Country Director of KOICA, noted that as Ethiopia was implementing the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-2), it could take positive lessons from Korean experience in the field of renewable energy. He said: “With development activities boosting up, it is obvious the need for energy is more than a quest now. Especially it is clear that in speeding up the transition from agriculture to industry sector, Ethiopia needs a new and modern energy sector which is sustainable and dependable.” KOICA’s Country Director added that Korea “had experienced rapid electrification, and developed a robust energy system. It is my belief that Ethiopia can learn a lot from this experience of Korea in its efforts to become a middle income country by 2025.” He said Ethiopia needed new and modern energy systems which were sustainable and dependable, pointing out that “through our newly designed Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), our office will focus on facilitating support to enhancing accessibility and reliability of energy sources in Ethiopia.”
The Chairperson of the KOICA Club Ethiopia, Professor Iyasu Mekonnen, emphasized the importance to Ethiopia for improving the energy sector by building huge projects in the country such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He underlined that alternative energy supplies could play a vital role in improving the lives of people in a sustainable manner.